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Committee Members Introduce NASA Authorization Legislation

This afternoon, Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairwoman Kendra Horn (D-OK) along with Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX), Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced H.R. 5666, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2020. H.R. 5666 reaffirms NASA’s foundational authority as a multi-mission agency and emphasizes the importance of balanced exploration, science, aeronautics, technology, and education portfolios. The Act establishes frameworks that put a premium on planning, oversight, transparency, and responsible fiscal and program management. 

“Today’s bipartisan NASA Authorization Act of 2020 is the product of hearings, testimony, and careful work to set up NASA and our nation’s civil space program for success,” said Subcommittee Chairwoman Horn. “Space should not be a partisan issue, and I am proud of the across-the-aisle teamwork which made this legislation possible. Americans should be the first to set foot on the red planet, and H.R. 5666 moves us closer to that goal by directing a steady and sustainable course of action. Following the 50th anniversary of our nation’s historic Apollo space program, today’s legislation equips the next generation of space explorers with the tools and resources they need to achieve our science, technology, and innovation goals.” 

“The NASA Authorization Act of 2020 supports the Administration’s bold space exploration goal to return to the Moon and go on to Mars while maintaining NASA’s other important science and aeronautics work,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Babin. “The bill ensures continuity of purpose for major programs like the Space Launch System, Orion, Gateway, and Commercial Crew; directs development of a Human Landing System; and ensures continued operations of the International Space Station to at least 2028. I will continue to work with my colleagues to perfect this important bill and strengthen the Johnson Space Center as it moves through the legislative process.”

“NASA and its missions advance knowledge, are a peaceful demonstration of U.S. technological preeminence, and inspire our youth,” said Chairwoman Johnson. “The bipartisan NASA Authorization bill that we have introduced today will ensure that NASA can continue to pursue bold and challenging endeavors that will send our astronauts on voyages of exploration beyond low Earth orbit and on to Mars, help us to better understand and monitor our changing climate, advance scientific knowledge, enable the aeronautics systems of the 21st century, and promote innovation. Supporting NASA is supporting our nation’s future, and I hope that we can move this legislation swiftly to enactment.”

“America’s space program is a source of pride and NASA’s work not only not only gives us a better understanding of our universe, but also of our home planet,” said Ranking Member Lucas. “The Administration recognizes that to maintain U.S. leadership in space exploration, we need to return to the Moon and send crewed missions to Mars and has put forth a bold vision to achieve this goal. The NASA Authorization Act of 2020 is a good first step towards meeting that important goal. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this legislation as we move through the process of providing consistent and responsible guidance for NASA’s missions.”

The bill is available here. 

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